Wednesday, October 30, 2013

a year in the "new" house

it's been one whole year since Josh got his new job and we moved to Tarboro and while the year in the new house started out not so great with a hospital stay for Sawyer (read about that adventure here), it was otherwise wonderful including new job(s) for me (here and here) and throwing showers (here) and parties (here, here and here) in our new place.
old house (top) and new house (bottom)

One of my favorite parts of moving is our proximity to food. We now drive 2 minutes to grab dinner instead of 15 and are only 3 minutes from the grocery store so it makes "quick errands" actually quick.

The other great part of our place is that we actually have room for activities (if quoting Step Brothers is wrong, I don't want to be right).

living room, with actual floor space!

kitchen, with actual counter top space!

a bedroom with room to move around!

Then of course there's the fact that we have a playroom where Sawyer can hide all his toys and has truly learned to entertain himself! He has also learned how to make a big mess of said playroom..

We still feel so exceptionally blessed that we sold our first home so quickly (read here) and that we found such a great place to live! I can only hope that the rest of our years in this house will be as great as our first.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

an amazing man.

Reverend Jerry Holcomb, an amazing man of God and a wonderful friend to my family, died yesterday evening and I am so heart broken over it.

Mr. Jerry married not only me and Josh but also my parents and was so close to my Mema and our family, helping take care of my Mema Dean when her husband, my Papa Donald died when my mama was only 9 years old.
photo by Melanie Mansfield
When Josh and I got engaged, we were so blessed that Mr. Jerry just happened to be visiting that weekend from Virginia and I was so happy that he got to be here and be a part of that day. I was even happier when Mr. Jerry was able to be one of the officiants in our wedding ceremony, just like he was for my mama and daddy's.

While I feel so sad for myself and those who will miss Mr. Jerry (and trust me, there will be many), I am happy that he is no longer in pain or fighting and that he is finally home.

Monday, October 28, 2013

a baby shower for my future niece!

Josh and I are getting a sweet little niece and Sawyer is getting his first, first cousin!

Josh's little brother Jordan and his fiancée Shannon are expecting a precious baby girl towards the end of November and I was so excited to help throw a shower for them, along with Josh's aunts on Sunday.

Shannon & Jordan
photos by Michelle Messer Photography (view more of her work 
Sadly, I didn't get anywhere near enough picture since it was a busy, busy day between church, homecoming lunch and the shower. But here are just a few!

Those are pumpkin spice latte cupcakes my friends, and they were amazing.

Since the headband making station was such a success at Hope's baby shower (here) we decided to do it again for Shannon and also added some fun iron-on appliques and dresses for the guests to choose from.

And of course, a baby shower isn't a baby shower without a diaper wreath (tutorial here)...

Forgive the fact that the wreath is sitting on a chair, I never got around to taking a picture of it actually hanging on the door.

Sawyer really liked the wreath and it took me a long time to convince him that he didn't need it hanging in his bedroom.

We are so excited to add TWO new members (both Shannon & baby Karlie) to the family and can hardly wait for Karlie's arrival.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

the halloween that wasn't.

I am linking up with Sarah @ Venus Trapped in Mars and Helene @ Helene in Between with a story of the Halloween that wasn't.
Venus Trapped in Mars

Once upon a time in 2005, I was a freshman at UNC-Wilmington, but I was practically already an East Carolina University student since I spent most of my weekends there (and a few week days too if I'm being honest, hence my lovely 1.56 GPA that year).

When Halloween rolled around, I knew there was NO WAY I was missing out on the famous ECU Halloween in downtown Greenville, NC. It's so famous that EliteDaily recently ranked my alma mater #1 in its list of Top 5 Best Halloween Party Schools in America (check it out here).

Well, I packed up my stuff, borrowed a strawberry shortcake costume from a friend, and headed to Greenville on Friday afternoon.

I was already in my costume Monday morning by like 10am, I was so pumped for getting to experience my first "real" college Halloween.

We never made it downtown.

Around 7 p.m. we all got takeout from Hibachi Express and started pre-gaming for the evening at Josh's apartment (which he shared with 3 other guys).

The night started great, and my husband put away more beverages than any man should ever put away (hey, it was college and we all make mistakes). Then we apartment hopped, meeting friends at different places and such. It all went down hill from there.

I had driven up from UNC-W to experience my first Halloween and my boyfriend (now husband) could barely stand. We hefted him in the car and took him back to the apartment where he got violently sick. VIOLENTLY. To the point that 911 calls were considered and neither of us could stand the smell of hibachi express food for almost a year.

He passed out at 11pm. While I sat on the couch in his apartment watching TV in my costume.

And yes, I totally beat him up while he was out. Hard.

He was so sick that I stayed in Greenville until Thursday, missing class (which wasn't that uncommon) and running out of clothes since I had only packed for a four day adventure, not a six day vacation.

Needless to say, my freshman Hallowen experience was a bust. Thankfully we've had a few more, better Halloweens since then.

Halloween in Greenville, Take 2 in 2006 with my UNC-W roomie (this one ended much better)
Sawyer's first Halloween in 2011 as a ninja turtle
Sawyer the Lion in 2012

This Halloween I will be a fairy (mainly because I just happen to have fairy wings and a tutu left from when we had our fairy tale themed Relay for Life meeting) and Sawyer shall be Mike the Knight. Which means he will have a fake sword & shield so watch out world.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

too sweaty for fashion.

I am too hot for fashion. Not hot in the sense of "hey girllll" but hot like "holy crap, why is the heat on, it's only 62 degrees outside" hot. 

Maybe hot-natured is a better word here?

On that note, I love this whole layered thing that is so fashionable now, but I cannot even come close to competing with some of these chic looks because if I did, I would have another accessory these girls don't... a sweat mustache. 

Maybe if I lived somewhere super cold I could rock them? But probably not since I would not be outside all the time and wouldn't want to ruin my layered look every time I walked indoors.

For example:

hey girl you got on like three layers, you know you sweatin'.
This chic has on a very cute outfit, but it includes a hoodie, a button up shirt and a down vest. I can't imagine the suffocating heat this is causing.

Or this precious faceless girl's outfit, while I think she has on a skirt so her legs will be nice and cool, she also has on two button-up shirts. TWO. Why?
Or this headless hottie. She has on a jacket, button up and sweater AND all three sleeves are rolled up. You know she can't move her forearms and she must be stifling. 
Ladies aren't the only one stacking the layers. Do you see the gentleman below? A button up, sweater vest, tweed jacket AND a quilted jacket. That's four layers friends, well five really if you count the layer of sweat that is encased under all those clothes probably.

If you make these layers work for you, I am super jealous. I wish I could style a chambray button-up under a polka dotted sweater followed by a quilted vest with my monogram, but alas my body disagrees. So, I'll just hang out over here in Eastern NC, wearing a tank top under a lightweight cardigan and no socks with my boots...

Monday, October 21, 2013

weekend update: a recipe & a rainy tailgate

I am linking up with Sami @ Sami's Shenanigans for Weekend Update!

Sami's Shenanigans

We had our first Pirate home game in three weeks on Saturday and sadly it started at 12 noon so that meant we only had a little over 3 hours to tailgate (since Josh likes to get inside the stadium at least 45 min before the game starts).

However, the earlier game also meant I got to make one of my favorite (and easiest) breakfast recipes, the Cheesy Sausage Crescent Casserole. Of which I have a horrible picture since I snapped it at 6:30am and also because I didn't get a "completed" picture because we ate it all before I could.

All you need is:
shredded cheddar
1 lb. of sausage
Ground Sage
Ground Mustard
2 packets of crescent rolls

1. Preheat your oven to 375

2. Brown your sausage, sprinkling in some sage & mustard as you cook it

3. Roll out one of your crescent roll packages, DO NOT separate the crescents, leave it as one big sheet and kind of "smoosh" the edges where the triangles are grown so that it stays one big sheet

4. Cover the crescent roll with a layer of cheese & the sausage

5. Add another layer of cheese and place the second crescent roll sheet on top (repeating the "smooshing" of the triangle edges)

6. Press together the edges of the two crescent roll sheets to keep the cheese and sausage inside

7. Bake in the oven until the top crescent roll starts to brown (about 18 minutes)

Here are some pictures from the tailgate (that you already saw if you follow me on instagram)

terribly blurry, but it's so hard to get a "normal" picture of Josh 

We played about 45 games of flip cup then had to pack ourselves under the tailgate tent when the rain started up.

We slaughtered the University of Southern Mississippi 55 to 14 (mind you, those 14 points were scored on our 4th string defense) so the game itself wasn't as exciting as a nail-biter game (but much more relaxed).

How was your weekend?

Friday, October 18, 2013

spontaneous camaraderie

this is a term that refers to when a group of people are suddenly unified over a common cause. It is one of my favorite things. My favorite kinds of spontaneous camaraderie are....

When everyone rallies together in traffic to NOT let in those people who waited until the end to get into the lane.

You know who I'm talking about. The ones who fly by everyone else that is waiting in a stand still and then wait until they are at the very front of traffic to try to merge into a lane. NO. I love to see all these cars inch closer and closer to each other to prevent that car from getting over. That is probably just due to my ridiculous road rage though...

When there is that one person in class (or at a conference/training) that everyone dislikes.
You know? When there is that person that talks all the time, asking questions just to show he/she knows the answer or generally just acts like a douche and everyone in class gives each other a "look" whenever he/she opens his/her mouth. Even better when everyone stays after class to talk about said person. Yes, I know how wrong that is.

Sporting events of any kind.
my husband being denied a high five hahaha
It doesn't matter if you're watching you friend's kid swing and miss at a t-ball game, cheering on the same team as someone else always inspires me to high-five a stranger like he or she is my bestie. I will also team up with other people cheering for my team against people who are not

In class when other students do everything they can to hide the sound of a classmate's phone vibrating.
Do you guys remember this?! In high school if one of our phones vibrated in class we would all cough or shuffle our stuff around so our teacher wouldn't hear the phone. Was this just my class?

Have you ever witnessed spontaneous camaraderie?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

the eyebrows of Big Tips Texas

When I think of Texas, I think of supper awesome people like Sarah @ Venus Trapped in Mars, Stephanie @ Beautiful Mess, Jessica @ You Are My Color or Helene @ Helene in Between. But a new show on MTV called Big Tips Texas has introduced me to some new... characters from Texas along with the largest, most ridiculous eyebrows in existence. 

Take this gem for example. This is Claire, a veteran bar tender at Redneck Heaven. She has fishing bait attached to her bathing suit and her eyebrows are scary.

and then there's Kristyn and her eyebrows, seen here toasting her weave.

I mean those jokers rival ole Amanda Bynes at her best..
Kristyn also enjoys painting Tom's as a side business (they're actually pretty nice) and wearing condoms as an outfit.

When I tweeted about the eyebrows, one of the shows "stars" actually favorited said tweet.... yay?

There is also the bar manager (who happens to be the owner's girlfriend) who spells her name T-Y-P-H-A-N-I. I can't.

So I did some investigating on this establishment called "Redneck Heaven" (because that's what former reporter's do) and discovered that the restaurant/bar has had the city council intervene TWICE because of the waitresses lack of clothing. Once because of them choosing body paint as an acceptable form of shirt (read article here)...
and another because they had an "anything but clothes" day (read here)

But I will probably continue to watch this show because it is seriously hilarious and those girls look like a good/drama-filled time waiting to happen.

Are you watching Big Tips Texas? Any of my Texas folks ever been there?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

home is wherever I'm with you

One of my best friends growing up, Kat got married this weekend in an absolutely beautiful ceremony held in her parent's backyard.

Kat & Sadler
Before I even begin this post I have to tell y'all that Kat's home, affectionately referred to as "The Drake Estate" by all of our friends, was practically our second home in high school. All our friends spent more time in that place than we spent in our own houses. Their house, back yard and farm was the place to go and hang out whether it be after a football game, before a soccer match, after soccer practice, or just a regular weekend. It was the absolute perfect back drop (along with its barns, fields and pool area) for the occasion.

Kat, along with her family & friends, did EVERYTHING for this wedding themselves (except for the delicious catering). From her daddy (a farmer) purposely planting his cotton crop in the fields beside the house and a family friend constructing a great bar to use for the reception out of an old barn, to her family and friends hunting yard sales for decorations and the mother of the groom sewing table runners from tobacco sheets. It was seriously one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever had the pleasure to attend.

Check out the amazing printables that went into this event:

The Save-the-Date magnet along with the invitation & information sheet...

Close-Up of the Save-the-Date

the program front & back (complete with awesome itinerary - check how it says ""Awkard Public Kiss" and "hopefully" under "Flowers Girls & Ring Bearer enter") - it got a little wet while I was in the photo booth, oops.

The menu and thank you cards that were waiting on our tables at the reception...

And thank goodness for Facebook & Instagram (#katandsadler) because that is how I came up with most of the rest of these pictures...

Isn't it beautiful!?! Those doors actually came from Kat's family's first home (which sat behind their new house for a LONG time)

the gorgeous bar created from an old barn

the cake and pictures of the bride & groom's parents on their wedding days

fabulous wedding party in front of the barn and more wedding area shots

Kat & Sadler chose amazing music for the ceremony too. From the Beatles to "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, it was everything it should have been.

My favorite decoration of the evening was definitely the mason jar chandelier hanging from the big tree over the gift table.

After the wedding, we of course did things like pose in front of cotton fields and climb in the photo booth.
me and Joshua looking nice and demon-eyed

I swear Hope & KG were checking out my boobs in this one...

I can't seem to find the photo booth strip where we all have the props on, but here's the one where we went prop-less.

And then we called it a night since my & Hope's husbands were obviously down trodden after our Pirates lost...

It was a gorgeous affair and you could truly tell how much love, hard work and care that was put into each cotton boll, burlap creation and carefully placed candle.